An Upstate Adventure Across PA on One Tank

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April 15, 2009

As you travel along the route for this trip (brought to you by the folks at Woodall’s), you’ll cross the northern tier of Pennsylvania and visit four regions: the Great Lakes, the Wilds, the Northeast Mountains and the Poconos. We recommend you allow a full week for this trip, which takes you through some of the most beautiful countryside in the eastern part of the country. Put some of your favorite traveling music on the stereo and get rolling!


Linesville serves as our starting point, and is home to Pymatuning Lake. The lake rests in the middle of the 21,000-acre Pymatuning Park. You can go fishing or boating on the lake year-round, and the park makes an excellent place to go hiking or break out a picnic lunch. The Linesville Spillway is considered the second most popular tourist attraction in Pennsylvania – the Liberty Bell being number one – and is the sanctuary for thousands of over-sized carp. Due to this massive congregation of fish, the Spillway is known as “The Place Where the Ducks Walk on the Fish.” Bring some bread to feed the fish and see just how many you can attract at one time. Watch this fish-feeding video on YouTube for a preview. The slogan is NOT an exaggeration!

Moving east on Route 6, in 15 miles you’ll come to the off-ramp for the eastbound PA-27. Take the exit and 26 miles later, you’ll come to the town of Titusville. The town is famous for its oil well, which is considered to have been the start of the modern petroleum industry back in the 1850s. The Drake Well Museum shows the history of the oil industry through a series of exhibits, videos and operating examples of field machines. Nearby Oak Creek Park is a great place to spend a day, with the opportunity to go kayaking or canoeing, or just enjoy the fresh air.

Returning to Route 6, travel east for approximately 50 miles until you come to the exit for the northbound Highway 27; travel north on the 27 for 20 miles to the town of Bradford. Bradford is home to the Zippo Lighter Visitor Center, an offbeat attraction devoted to arguably the most famous and oldest lighter in the world. The Center features artwork comprised entirely of Zippo lighters, such as an American flag made from more than 300 red, white and blue Zippos. There’s also an exhibit dedicated to the use of the Zippo in movies such as Die Hard and many others. It’s definitely a museum unlike any other.

Pine Gorge
Returning to the eastbound Route 6, you’ll cruise through the picture-postcard beauty of the Pennsylvania countryside. This part of the trip takes you past Pine Creek Gorge, which is known as the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania due to its width of 4,000 feet, its depth of 1,500 feet and its length of 47 miles. It truly is one of nature’s magnificent wonders and has been named a National Natural Landmark; be sure to pull over and get some memorable photos of this incredible site.

The city of Wellsboro rests right on Route 6, and in addition to some really beautiful parks, it’s the home of the Steam Town National Historic Site. This is the only national park devoted entirely to the history of steam locomotion, and spreads across more than 60 acres of a working railroad yard in Wellsboro. The museum depicts the story of the steam engine, spanning the century between 1850 and 1950. There are plenty of boxcars, steam engines and passenger cars on display, and the museum offers a variety of tours and excursions for your enjoyment.

Be sure to visit the Kinzua Bridge State Park on your way to Wellsboro, where you can see the remnants of the Kinzua Viaduct railway bridge. This 301-foot-tall steel bridge was originally constructed of iron in 1882, and is conveniently located about halfway between Titusville and Wellsboro.

The final stop of Matamoras awaits you farther east on Route 6, just short of 170 miles from Wellsboro. Matamoras serves an ideal staging area for a trip to the Poconos, where you can enjoy whitewater rafting, jet skiing and boating in the spring and summer, world-class skiing and snowboarding in the winter (or maybe just sit by a cozy fire in the lodge), and dozens of events and activities all year round.

As you can see, there’s plenty to see and do in Pennsylvania besides the same-old, same-old. Take a cruise off the path well-taken and see sights and wonders you never dreamed existed!

Where to Stay: Try our area sponsor, the Foote Rest Campground, for a great place to rest up at the end of your one-tank journey.

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  4. Paul R Liggett


    Sorry about your article “An up state adventure across Pa.”
    You said the Steam Town National Historic Site is in Wellsboro ???
    Wrong !!!
    Steam Town is located East of Rt. 81 Near Scranton, Pa.
    While Wellsboro is East of Rt. 15 above State College, Pa.

    Everyone is allowed a little mistake once in a while.

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